Source Code

A collection of lines or computer-executable commands written in a high-level language is called a source code.

What Is Source Code?

Source code is a collection of code (text-based instructions) that result in a computer program written using a high-level programming language. Seemingly, it is a collection of words, letters, and symbols, etc.

In order to be executed by a computer, those instructions have to be translated from the high-level language (source code) into a machine language understood by computers. This translation is done by a compiler or an interpreter and is what makes programs executable. A program can be run by executing its compiled form, using an interpreter, or, for more complex tasks, by directly executing its source code.

The source code of a program is usually held in one or more text files containing a large number of lines of code. The exact format of this file varies from one programming language to another, but programs usually have one or more files named with the extension .c, .cpp, .CPP or .cxx (e.g., filename.c). In most cases the file name matches the name of the main function or method of the program and the content of the file consists exclusively of that function definition and related declarations and statements.

Source Code vs Open Source

The term “source code” refers to the fundamental code of a program. It may be written in a programming language like JavaScript or PHP, but it is still text that can be read by anyone.

An open-source software, on the other hand, is developed in a collaborative environment where the source code is available to everyone. The reason for this openness is so that users can see how the program works and other developers can modify it to create other programs.

Open-source software, also known as free/libre open-source software (FLOSS), is software that can be copied, modified, distributed, and shared because its source code is available to the public for free. 

Open-source software is the most prominent example of open-source development and is often compared to (commercial) closed-source software, which has the source code hidden from the users.

Why Is It Important to Have Your Source Code?

The purpose of having the source code is to allow you to edit it yourself whenever you need to make changes. Having your source code ensures the best possible protection of your product. It is the only way to ensure that you get all the latest updates and security patches. 

It is also an important safety factor when you want to transfer a license to a new owner or if you want to make a backup.

The source code is the heart of your app or website. Without it, you are at the mercy of the development firm that built the app or website.